There has been an outbreak of army worms which has destroyed maize crops in four traditional authorities (T/As) in Mchinji, the district agriculture office has said.
The army worm outbreak has also been reported in the eastern province of Zambia which borders Malawi.
Mchinji district agriculture development officer Nevison Hlongo said worms known as “Fall army worm” have attacked crops mostly maize in T/As Zulu, Mlonyeni Mavwere and Mkanda.
“Most farmers mistake fall army worms to stalk borers and they do not think this is a threat to their crops but as an agriculture office we will embark on sensitisation campaigns to warn them on the dangers this can pose to their crops,” he said
According to Hlongo, fall army worms can destroy crops within a day to the extent that farmers would have to replant.
“Meanwhile, our office is advising farmers to apply chemicals such as Cypemethrine and Sumicide to their crops to prevent total destruction of crops,” he said.
Army worms mostly feed on small green plants like maize and would be destructive if not handled in its early stages. n